by Christian Newth
Hello, my name is Christian Newth and I am a student doing my placement for the Museum Studies course here at the Archives and Special Collections in the David Wilson Library. My task that I have been given is to catalogue and repackage the Rose Griffiths collection. Rose Griffiths wrote many different children’s maths and activity books most of the manuscripts for those are present in this collection. During the first week I went through and listed all the contents of the boxes, and it was interesting to see all the documents and manuscripts from the process of publishing children’s maths books. The organization of many of the boxes also helped in the listing with most of the items being organized from the start to the last part of the process. Each box was also organized by books as well with some boxes having multiple books present which are related in some way.
Beginning the cataloguing process by first talking with the creator of the archive answered many of the questions that I had about some parts of the collection. The cataloguing process, while it can be tedious at times, has been quite a bit of fun and has helped me to get to know the collection of documents a lot better. Some of the stuff here may not look connected to Rose Griffiths but all of it in some way represents some part of Rose Griffiths’ career and figuring that out has been a great exercise. Also, just the whole idea behind how much meaningful documentation someone can put together in a portion of their lifetime is astounding. This collection does not seem too extensive, but has something upwards of around 300 documents and other items in it which is just mind boggling to think about, and other collections have so much more here. The first documents I have catalogued so far is the first books Rose Griffiths ever published and some slightly later works and their related material. Magic Maths and Gorilla Word Games are a couple of the earlier works and have some fun colourful pages. The collection also shows the process in which she changes from at first not having an established writing style and page layout to gaining the confidence and finding the page layout that best suits the audience is also really fun to watch develop. Overall, the collection and task are very exciting and I cannot wait to catalogue the rest of the collection and talk about it more.